Solidarity the independent Nationalist Union held its second Annual Conference in the Apollo Hotel, Birmingham on Saturday, 23 February, 2008.
First on the order of business was the reading and passing the minutes of the previous AGM and the Special Meeting of July 2007
Then General Secretary Patrick Harrington delivered an upbeat assessment of the Union’s progress in the past year and potential for the future. At the end of 2006 the fledgling union had 42 members. Today it has 211, despite the disruption in the middle of last year and hysterical attacks from the Labour Party and the ultra-left in parliament and the blogosphere. The General Secretary stated that he estimated their efforts had set back Union progress by about six months. He predicted that now that internal disruption had failed opponents of the Union would use State agencies to harass the Union and directly attack it. We must be prepared.
Since holding an independently scrutinised election in November 2007, Solidarity has a new united Executive Committee committed to the slogan, ‘Together we are strong’. This was evident in the spirit of the meeting. Several motions came up for discussion. In the union’s profoundly democratic tradition, everyone had an opportunity to have their say before a vote was taken on the motions. The most controversial motion seeking to bar Muslims from membership of the Union was withdrawn after an amendment was passed reaffirming that the Union was open to all regardless of ethnic or religious background. Other motions condemned off-shoring and the loss of jobs at places like Electrolux and Black and Decker in the North East.
Members were also given the opportunity to ask direct questions of the Executive and Graham Williamson of Accentuate PR.
Members said they were impressed by the professional way in which Union business was conducted at the meeting. Each went away with a 12-page report, optimistic that the vision of a nationalist workers’ union was being made a reality.